Publié le 16/01/2024

Great Outdoors: Canada’s Kitchen Cabinet

From Fogo Island to the Rockies, Relais & Châteaux invites you to explore Canadian cuisine through the diversity of this vast country’s territories. Our seven properties here are dedicated to preserving their regions’ unique identities by putting each one’s history and culture on the menu.

Great Outdoors: Canada’s Kitchen Cabinet

Fogo Island Inn © Alex Fradkin

From Fogo Island to the Rockies, Relais & Châteaux invites you to explore Canadian cuisine through the diversity of this vast country’s territories. Our seven properties here are dedicated to preserving their regions’ unique identities by putting each one’s history and culture on the menu.

Gratifyingly estate-grown 

Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa, Cambridge, Ontario

Chef Jason Bangerter joined the kitchen of Langdon Hall–a majestic late-19th-century country house–in the fall of 2013. “Langdon Hall is an estate spanning some seventy five acres,” says Jason. “I watch the seasons change. That inspires me.” For example, the scent of the chimney guided him toward smoky flavors, which cumulated in the creation of juniper-smoked trout with crispy skin.

The property’s own orchards produce old-fashioned varieties of apples, while the kitchen garden nurtures root vegetables. Some eighty per cent of ingredients are sourced from within the province of Ontario. Less than a half hour’s drive from here, farmers raise pigs, chickens and sheep to supply meat. A fisherman from British Columbia, certified Ocean Wise, provides salmon and tuna.

Shellfish are brought from Hudson Bay to form the ‘Taste of the Ocean’ dish, which mingles golden king crab, scallops and sea urchin. The adjacent forest provides maple and birch syrups, as well as wildflowers, which form the basis of desserts that definitively express the surrounding environment.


The art of comfort food

Post Hotel & Spa, Lake Louise, Alberta

In the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Hans Sauter–a former globe-trotter–has settled at the Post Hotel & Spa on the edge of Lake Louise, just off the Whitehorn ski slopes. “My clients spend the whole day outdoors, and when they come back, they need comforting food,” he explains. 

That being said, running an establishment in a National Park isn’t always easy. “It is prohibited to fish in the rivers and to gather mushrooms,” says Chef Sauter. “Nothing grows here in the winter, and at this latitude the winter is very long.” He spares no effort sourcing fruit from Alberta or nearby British Columbia, oysters from Vancouver Island, lobster from the Atlantic, or cod from Fogo Island. 

And so a distinctive tapestry emerges: the chef portrays his voyages through the flavors of yuzu, ginger and miso while interweaving his vision of a warmhearted Canada, producing dishes such as a semifreddo garnished with maple and miso syrup caramel and maple popcorn.


An ode to terroir

Manoir Hovey, North Hatley, Quebec

Alexandre Vachon once worked under Daniel Boulud (“He’s the one who taught me good old-fashioned cookery”), particularly at Maison Boulud, in Montreal. Five years ago, he opted “for a calmer spot” in the Appalachian Mountains, on a bank of Lake Massawippi.

At Manoir Hovey in North Hatley, Chef Vachon benefits from the greatest possible proximity with local vegetable farmers, ranchers and other producers, and indeed he works with them to plan crops ahead of time from year to year. Chef Vachon has a passion for heritage vegetables, which he interprets in a traditional way, but with a modern twist thanks to his exquisitely keen vision of the region: Sole à la grenobloise is prepared using halibut instead of sole and topped with fermented blueberries instead of capers.

For him, it is important to highlight little-known delicacies such as urchins from the Gaspé Peninsula, Acadian caviar from New Brunswick, and caviar from Lake Saint Pierre, where wild sturgeons thrive. They complete his tribute to the territory. 


To the ends of the earth

Fogo Island Inn, Fogo Island, Newfoundland

The Fogo Island Inn is built at one end of the eponymous island–a miniature version of the edge of the world–off Newfoundland, overlooking the powerful Atlantic Ocean. Icebergs float past the glass façades of the restaurant. Chef Timothy Charles leads the kitchen in this untouched setting: “This is a special spot,” he says, “where architectural and culinary styles meet. The question is, how to build a contemporary expression using local ingredients?” Above all, the severe climate requires a tried-and-tested culinary conservation regimen: drying, fermenting, smoking, marinating, bottling and canning.

Chef Charles also takes great delight in the area’s wild mushrooms, its great variety of algae, and the rhubarb grown in the garden, not to mention the some twenty varieties of wild berries that grow in the local moors and peat bogs. As the Labrador Current flows south from Greenland, it draws along shrimp, snow crab and cod in its chilly wake. Once smoked, cod is served with cabbage drizzled with a beet-and-Jersey-butter sauce, a contemporary culinary construction.

© Alex Fradkin / Kristopher Grunert


The origins of la Belle Province

La Tanière3, Québec City, Quebec

In the historical center of Quebec, between the Saint Lawrence River and the Place Royale, a new member of Relais & Châteaux–the restaurant Tanière3–spreads its wings within some of the oldest buildings in town: those of the Maisons Leber & Charest. 

In this heritage site, Chef François-Emmanuel Nicol takes inspiration from ingredients sourced at the furthest reaches of La Belle Province as well as from bygone explorers’ accounts of native foods. He eagerly includes indigenous plants such as Labrador tea, coltsfoot, goldenrod and sweetgrass, and readily draws upon First Nation recipes. Topped with water peppers, “piglet’s flan”–in other words, streaky bacon–is cooked wrapped in a yellow water lily flower. 

Even the desserts pay tribute to aboriginal people, such as the Mont-Blanc that the chef prepares using “potato beans”–small tubers with a chestnut taste that grow in bunches.

© Simon Ferland


The great crossing

Restaurant Jérome Ferrer par Europea, Montreal, Quebec

Inspired by the produce of the Gaspé Peninsula, Chef Jérôme Ferrer adopted Canada–and vice-versa–fifteen years ago. From the bustling metropolis of Montreal, the chef pays tribute to his intense relationship with his host country by sweeping guests away on a great culinary escapade.

A multi-sensory dining adventure invites guests to discover these northern lands by crisscrossing them west to east. Each dish blazes, smokes and exudes the full extent and complexity of Canadian ingredients. The hors d’oeuvres set the tone–with dried meats arranged along a majestic trunk–followed by a cappuccino of lobster from the Gaspé Peninsula, on the eastern coast, and calamari in yellow wine.

Between each course, little treats extend the immersive experience, appealing to the senses of sound and sight as well as taste to guide guests toward surprising discoveries, making Sockeye salmon and Alberta bison or beef all the more impactful.



From farm to fork

Auberge Saint-Antoine, Quebec City, Quebec

At Chez Muffy, the restaurant of Auberge Saint-Antoine, the warmth of the fireplace and exposed wood beams have an immediate welcoming effect. The cuisine of Alex Bouchard and Arthur Muller is intimately entwined with Île d’Orléans, located 25 km/15 miles away. The chefs also take inspiration, and source produce, from the organic gardens of the Le Coteau farm where Evan Price, one of the co-owners of the Auberge, grew up. 

Since 2009, vegetable farmer Alexandre Faille has been carefully selecting heritage seeds: breathing life back into the Charlevoix pea, a type of kidney bean that he heard about from an old hand; cultivating old-fashioned varieties of corn to produce flour.

His curiosity is reflected in the dishes of Chez Muffy, where a carpaccio of Japanese amberjack–a species of Seriola fish–is nestled among tapioca, citronella, caviar and, most importantly, radishes from the garden. Even at the heart of the gourmet experience, the Auberge Saint-Antoine upholds its fresh, lively spirit. 

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